Ryan Seacrest may be the busiest man in showbiz. TV personality and entrepreneur is famous for doing interviews with America’s biggest stars with his colleague and good friend Kelly Ripa. He is currently filming the brand new season of American Idol. Ryan’s fashion line is sold exclusively at Macy’s and his skincare line is equally successful. And let’s not forget about producing some of the top-rated cable television shows such as Keeping up with the Kardashians! We can’t imagine New Year’s Eve without Ryan Seacrest and he rules the red carpet each awards season. So what’s his secret to success?
More than two decades ago, Ryan Seacrest attended the University of Georgia, before moving to Hollywood to make his dreams come true. After making it big in the media world, Seacrest returned to the University to give the speech to the 2016 graduating class. Not only did he inspire many students with this speech, but he also shared with them a secret or two about how he became such a big name.
It may come as a surprise but Ryan Seacrest wasn’t born famous. Just like some of the students at the University of Georgia, Seacrest was once trying to figure out what he was born to do. But as he admitted, it’s okay not to know what you want to do because it’s the part of the process, “I was once an uncomfortable kid in husky jeans and braces. To be honest, I didn’t really feel like I fit in all the time. But, I knew my passion.”
Ryan Seacrest has accomplished so much in his career. That said, everyone wants to know about the lessons he’s learned so far. “It’s a hard question to answer because I’ve learned so much. What I tell students that I meet is you’re going to be told “no” at some point; we all have heard this word. It’s not fun, but it happens. Most important, don’t let that word hinder you—let it motivate you not to quit. Keep at it—whatever your pursuit—because focus and persistence are key,” Seacrest was honest.
“The Day Will Happen Whether Or Not You Get Up”
This is a quote from John Ciardi, and it’s Ryan Seacrest’s favorite. He shared these words with the audience while speaking to students at the University of Georgia. As he admitted, he once took Ciardi’s wise words as a wake-up call, “Make sure you happen to the day instead of it happening to you,” Ryan explained.
Seacrest has always believed that we need to push ourselves to our limits, no matter the circumstances. As long as we stay inside our comfort zones, nothing significant will ever happen. At the end of the day, we only get one shot to make a day that matters, so we better make it count.
Ciardi’s words are so valuable to Ryan because they remind him that life is precious and it should never be taken for granted, “Days come and go… fast. Before you know it, time starts to add up. And the older I get, the more I realize that your life will happen whether you get up or not. It is true, the world can sometimes be a pretty messy place.”
But this messy world has never stopped Seacrest from believing in himself and the importance of having the right team by your side. Ryan always knew that, in order to turn your ideas into reality, you need to surround yourself with the right people. Distinction, his menswear brand, is no exception. He still works closely with his design teams, “We work together on ideas and specific executions, but they’re really the ones with the talent and creative skills. I’m just an enthusiastic interloper,” Seacrest said.
Whatever he does, Ryan Seacrest tries to find inspiration in each new day. His inspiration comes from his surroundings, from what he’s reading, even from new artists he’s discovering, “Given my daily jobs on radio and television, pop culture is infused in everything that we do creatively, one way or another,” the famous host revealed.
Finally, new days happen to all of us, whether we’re ready or not. But it’s also important to find the best moments in each day and turn these moments into inspiration. That inspiration doesn’t have to turn into something real right away. However, in time, it might turn into something bigger and meaningful, “The world is also full of purpose and opportunity, inspiration, creativity and excitement. And there are many more good people than bad.”
Ryan Seacrest’s Codes of Success
As a truly successful man, Ryan Seacrest has a few codes of his own and he’s generous enough to share them with everyone else. The first one of his codes is to live by your passion, whatever that passion might be!
For Ryan, that passion was radio, “I fell in love with radio. I told anyone who would sit and listen that I wanted to be a broadcaster. I would play DJ in my bedroom using an old $20 RadioShack audio mixer,” Seacrest was honest.
Once he found out what his passion was, he put all his energy towards achieving his goals. But first, he knew he needed to change his life a bit, “I also started exercising, eating better and attempting to dress better — and eventually gained more confidence.”
However, no matter how passionate and confident you are, there will be difficult situations that will make you insecure about your plans and dreams. That’s why Seacrest always knew that he could only control what he does and what he thinks about himself. The American Idol host realized early enough that it doesn’t matter what everyone else says about him, “What mattered was how I felt about myself and what I believed I could accomplish — if only I put everything I had into it. The best path we can choose for ourselves is to follow our hearts more than our heads.”
It’s also crucial to trust your gut. At least that’s what Ryan Seacrest has always done. Even when he was a young student at the University of Georgia, there was a voice inside of him that told him there was somewhere else he needed to be, “That to pursue my passion for broadcasting, I needed to be in Hollywood, and that there wasn’t a minute to waste.” That’s when he knew where his destiny was.
Despite his gut feeling, even some of his closest friends weren’t so sure about his plans and ambitions. But Seacrest never let the fear stop him, “I was almost 20 years old. I was scared to death. But at the same time, I was never more sure of anything in my life.” The thing is, whenever we try something new, there will be well-meaning skeptics around us. Taking a risk and changing the course brings a lot of different opinions that we should hear, but we don’t need to listen to them.
“Thank them for their advice, but whatever you do, do not let them silence you or your intuition,” Seacrest said and added, “Just like me know that trusting your gut is the best decision you can make. And, decades from now — because you trusted your gut — you might find yourself asking the most famous person in the world, ‘Who are you wearing?’”
The second Ryan’s code is trying to listen. While Ryan Seacrest is famous for his talking, that’s not the only thing he does so well. “The fact is, I listen for a living. When I’m on the air talking to someone, I tell myself, ‘shut up — listen to what this person is trying to say.’”
So instead of doing all the talking, Seacrest makes a point to listen. As a good listener, Ryan watches for the signals and he waits for the moment he can actually help others. “It’s a wonderful thing,” the media mogul admitted.
Next on Ryan Seacrest’s list of codes is laughing loudly and preferably – at yourself! Seacrest is famous for joking about his height. One of his favorite jokes is, “For the fifth consecutive year, Ryan Seacrest took home the award for best-animated short.” But there are other jokes about himself that he loves just as much as this one! Here’s one of them told by Jimmy Kimmel: “When Ryan Seacrest is the most masculine man on the stage, somebody better start singing Y.M.C.A.”
The point is, while you need to believe in yourself, you shouldn’t take everything so seriously. Laughter is okay too. “It’s okay to laugh. Laughter keeps you sane. Laugh hard and often. But laugh at yourself.”
Another code on Ryan Seacrest’s list is to indulge your curiosity. While a college degree is great evidence that you’ve learned a lot, it is just a good start. In fact, learning should never stop! For example, Ryan was once trying to learn Portuguese before he went to Rio to cover the Olympics. “I still have a lot to learn before the Cerimônia de Abertura,” Seacrest said and added, “I am pretty sure that means ‘opening ceremony.’”
But learning and curiosity aren’t just about school. Sometimes, it’s about having fun too! For Ryan Seacrest, one of the questions that he’d been struggling with for years was: What really goes on at Coachella? “My friends have been talking about this music festival in the desert for as long as I can remember. What about this one event is sooooo cool? What have I have been missing? This year, I went to find out,” Ryan said.
And once he went to Coachella, he absolutely loved it! His curiosity brought him a brand new experience and memories that will last, “The music performances were all incredible. The crowd was electric. The desert was really hot. And dusty. People were dirty and sweaty. And finding a bathroom — good luck! But I followed my curiosity, and now my curiosity has been satisfied. I am not sure I need to go back. Unless we get artist passes!”
That’s not the end of Ryan’s list as there are still many things he’s curious about. Ryan Seacrest never stops wondering about the world that surrounds him, and that’s what makes his curiosity so valuable. For example, Seacrest still wonders if he has what it takes to surf a perfect wave off Costa Rica and will his next car be driverless, “And if so,” Seacrest added, “where am I supposed to sit?” Whatever you do and wherever you go, never stop searching and asking questions because it’s the curiosity that keeps us alive.
Next up on Ryan’s list of codes is: always be prepared! A busy man such as Ryan Seacrest needs to be prepared all the time. Between hosting On Air With Ryan Seacrest and Live With Kelly and Ryan, producing TV shows and managing the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, being prepared is a must. And if you wonder how he makes time for all his projects and still manages to find time for friends and family (and his beautiful girlfriend Shayna Taylor), the answer might be that he found the 25th hour during the day!
“A long time ago, someone figured out there were 24 hours in every day. But you are looking at the guy who discovered a loophole. There is a 25th hour! The 25th hour is the time you make happen to get yourself prepared for whatever’s next,” Seacrest said and added, “It’s when you steal back moments in your day wherever you can find them to get ready for tomorrow.”
So there you have it. It’s possible to have it all when you believe in yourself, but also, when you have a plan. But being prepared is not only about time management. It’s also about having special skills. “I have never forgotten the preparation skills I learned at Dunwoody High School,” Seacrest revealed, “I always have a highlighter with me. I set the alarm on my phone and try never to hit snooze. And before any awards show, I make flashcards with three facts about every person who is going to be there.”
In Seacrest’s case, flashcards are not what makes him ready. It’s taking the time to anticipate everything that might happen in the given moment. That said, you don’t always have to be the most talented person in the room, “but you can be the most prepared.”
And let’s not forget about another code of Ryan Seacrest which is be impatient. According to Ryan, he’s the annoying boyfriend who keeps calling when there’s no answer. He also gets easily annoyed when he orders an Uber and waits more than one minute, “Patience is for people who have time to kill. Not for those without a minute to waste.”
According to Ryan, when something is important, there is no reason to postpone it. On the contrary, the best time to do something is right now. Of course, not everything is equally important, which means that not everything deserves your time and energy. Instead of wasting time, Ryan suggests moving on to something that’s actually important. “It is okay to be impatient, but still show that southern charm. Be kind. Be brave. Hold the door. Look everyone in the eye. Say “thank you” — and when you say it, mean it.”
And finally, the last one of Ryan Seacrest’s codes of success is giving back. One of his favorite projects will always be his foundation. As many people know, the Ryan Seacrest Foundation or RSF is built on the idea that kids need to be entertained while they’re staying at the hospital. These are stressful and tough times for children, and they need all the available help to be themselves and feel happy again!
The non-profit organization is dedicated to inspiring children through entertainment and education focused initiatives. The RSF’s first initiative was to build broadcast media centers, named Seacrest Studios. The studios are built within pediatric hospitals for patients to explore the exciting worlds of radio, television and new media.
The Ryan Seacrest Foundation is not Ryan’s project only. His family, and that includes his sister and parents, are working full time for the RSF and it has only brought them closer. His father, Gary, is president and CEO, his mom Connie oversees community affairs and hospital relations and his sister Meredith is executive director and COO.
This brings us to giving back. “Over the past few years, with my family, we’ve helped build broadcast media studios in children’s hospitals so kids and their families can find some sort of escape,” Seacrest said. “We built one down the street in Atlanta. That’s how we felt we could give back.”
Finally, choosing how to express gratitude or stay motivated and inspired is up to you. Believe in yourself, listen to others but don’t let them make decisions for you. Stay curious and learn new things every day. These are not just Ryan Seacrest’s codes; these are choices that all of us can make in order to become successful.